03/18/2005 12:00AM

Not for Love among best of 2004


The Maryland Horse Breeders Association's selections for 2004 breeder, stallion, and broodmare of the year were as formful as the statebred champions that were named less than a month ago.

Charles and Cynthia McGinnes, top breeders in the state in 2004 by earnings and number of stakes winners, were named breeder of the year.

Not for Love, the nation's highest- ranked stallion standing outside of Kentucky, repeats as stallion of the year.

Vee Vee Star, Brice and Mary Anne Ridgely's star broodmare whose second foal, Declan's Moon, earned an Eclipse Award, was named broodmare of the year.

All three will be honored at the Maryland Horse Breeders Association's annual awards dinner, to be held April 21 at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, with the spectacular George Stubbs exhibit as a backdrop.

Breeder of the year

The McGinneses have been breeding horses on their Eastern Shore farm, Thornmar, in Chestertown since the early 1970's, and have ranked among the state's leading breeders for the past decade. The couple's aim was to breed for the commercial market, and all six of their 2004 stakes winners were sold as yearlings. The highest-priced sales yearling of the group was Two Punch Gal, a daughter of Two Punch out of the McGinnes' homebred stakes-winning mare Cranberry Muffin, who sold for $225,000 at Keeneland September in 2002. Two Punch Gal won the Politely Stakes at Pimlico in November.

The top earner among the McGinnes-bred horses last year was Aggadan. A blocky chestnut son of Carnivalay, he accounted for two stakes wins late in the year and ran second to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper in the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap. Aggadan earned $263,371 at age 5, pushing his career total to $680,301.

Other stakes winners last year bred by the McGinneses are Love You Madly, Aggadan's year-younger half-sister by Partner's Hero (out of Georgia K., a daughter of Thornmar's now pensioned stallion Horatius); 2-year-olds What's Up Lonely and Monster Chaser, who finished one-two in the Maryland Million Nursery; and Water Cannon, a son of Waquoit who had three consecutive stakes wins in the spring of 2004, earning him a berth in the Preakness Stakes.

Last year was the best in terms of money won by McGinnes-bred runners, as 44 starters earned in excess of $1.5 million.

Stallion of the year

Not for Love earned his third consecutive title after setting a Maryland one-year record when his progeny surpassed $5 million in earnings in 2004.

Not for Love has consistently sired a high percentage of stakes horses, and last year was no different, with 10 stakes winners and 12 others that ran second or third in stakes. Three of Not for Love's offspring were Maryland-bred champions - Angela's Love, He Loves Me, and Love of Money - with each winning graded stakes during the season. Not for Love also sired graded-stakes winner Presidentialaffair, who was named Pennsylvania-bred champion older male.

A 15-year-old son of Mr. Prospector out of Grade 1 winner Dance Number (by Northern Dancer), Not for Love, who has six crops of racing age, ranked 11th in the nation. He has stood his entire career at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City and is booked full for 2005, with a stud fee of $25,000.

Broodmare of the year

Vee Vee Star has come a long way in a short time for the Ridgelys. Purchased in 1997 as a just-turned yearling for the bargain sum of $3,500 after Brice Ridgely saw a listing in the Baltimore Sun classifieds, Vee Vee Star is a daughter of the late Maryland stallion Norquestor out of Fabulous Vee, who was also purchased by the Ridgelys as a result of the ad.

The Ridgelys expected to sell the filly at the yearling sales, but when Vee Vee Star failed to reach her $10,000 reserve, they brought her home. Her value is now off the charts.

While in training, Vee Vee Star won two races, placed in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (behind champion 3-year-old filly Silverbulletday) and Caesar's Wish Stakes, and earned $60,895 in 10 starts.

Her first foal, a Partner's Hero filly named Major Melissa, was sold by the Ridgelys as a yearling in 2002 for $30,000; her gelded son, Declan's Moon (by Malibu Moon), brought $125,000 in 2003. The Ridgelys sold Vee Vee Star's Unbridled Jet colt last fall for $70,000. The mare has a yearling colt by Partner's Hero but was barren this year and was sent to Kentucky to be bred back to Malibu Moon.